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YMMV / Ngaio Marsh

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  • Market-Based Title: Several of the novels were renamed for the American market. Sometimes the reasoning behind the changes isn't apparent.
    • A Surfeit of Lampreys, which was a play on the surname of a family at the center of the case, was retitled Death of a Peer, which was also accurate, since the central crime of the tale was the murder of the head of the family, who was a marquis.
    • Swing Brother Swing became A Wreath for Rivera, perhaps over the central word "Brother"?
    • Opening Night was renamed Night at the Vulcan, possibly because so many of her works were set in theatres, making the original title too general.
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    • Off With His Head became Death of a Fool.
    • Death at the Dolphin became Killer Dolphin, scrapping alliteration for a more active word "Killer".
    • Curiously, the idiomatic title Black as He's Painted wasn't changed for the U.S. market, though the expression is more British than American.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Even the purest young girls smoke like chimneys. Hell, everyone smokes like chimneys.
    • Averted and played straight in Opening Night. On one hand, an actress is raped by her husband; all consider it rape, something the average person wouldn't have done in that time period. On the other hand, the love story involves a 20-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man who, it is revealed later, is her distant cousin. (They share a remarkable resemblance despite their distant relationship, so much so that she's hired to play his daughter.)
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    • The overt homophobia of some of her novels, especially Death in Ecstasy and Singing in the Shrouds.

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